In a year that was dominated by sombre headlines, we recently had the pleasure of announcing the 2020 CRHNet award winners at our annual general meeting. We would like to celebrate our winners by sharing a few words from those who can best describe why these wonderful individuals were chosen – the nominators and references. From us at CRHNet, congratulations to all the award winners and thank you for your ongoing commitment to the field of disaster and emergency management!
This year the CRHNet launched a new award, originally called the Mentorship Matters Award. In November 2020, the CRHNet Board unanimously voted to rename this award to be the Marion Boon Mentorship Award, in recognition of Marion’s tireless role with CRHNet, and as a mentor and respected professional across Canada for the past four decades, and into the foreseeable future.
Marion Boon Mentorship Award. This award was established in 2020 to recognize exemplary mentorship and leadership in the field of Disaster and Emergency Management. This award was created to acknowledge individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting the development of emerging professionals through advocacy, collaboration, and the transparent sharing of learning, experiences and ideas.
This year, two recipients were selected to be recognized for their role as a mentor.
Marion Boon Mentorship 2020 Award Winner – Chiran Livera
“Chiran has been a mentor to me for the past two years and it has been an incredible experience. His mentorship has helped me grow as a leader and as response operations manager. He has this collaborative approach, where he works with you to help you achieve your professional goals.
Chiran has also created a culture of mentoring and coaching amongst the Canadian Red Cross Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response Team is comprised of leaders who deploy to large-scale disasters nationally and internationally. He has worked individually with the team to grow our core competencies and help us become better leaders. He also initiated mentoring and coaching amongst our team members. Creating a culture of mentoring has benefited this team immeasurably. He is always willing to take the time to help people grow. He has made a major impact.” (Alexis Kraig)
Marion Boon Mentorship 2020 Award Winner – Josh Morin
“I had experienced and watched Josh mentor emerging professionals throughout the years by being a consultant when questions were asked and sharing critical learning moments that benefited him through his career. He is not shy to share his successes and failures and always emphasizes that the field of disaster and emergency management is one where everyone must work together. He embodies that character through his talent in mentoring. Additionally, he mentors through being a sounding [board]. He takes the time to listen, guide and facilitate [the process] for a mentee to seek answers on their own. He provides support in learning from mistakes, which allows mentees to build their understanding and experiences. Most importantly, Josh is always a cheerleader. Win or lose. Rise or fall. Josh will be by your side, cheering you on to support the satisfaction of [being on] the journey of learning.
It can be daunting to open one’s self up to be vulnerable to the learning process. Having someone advocating and collaborating with your every step of the way has helped me make miles in my career and personal confidence.“ (Lexie Busby)
CRHNet Disaster Risk Management Volunteer Award. This award was established in 2017 to recognize exemplary disaster management volunteerism, and worthy volunteer programs and initiatives contributing to the betterment of Canadian safety. Each year, up to three recipients are selected to be recognized by their peers for their outstanding contribution to some area of disaster risk management without expectation of financial benefit – whether that contribution occurs before, during and/or after a disaster.
Disaster Risk Management 2020 Award Winner – Ron Kuban
“Ron Kuban is one of the most accomplished disaster risk management professionals in Canada, and beyond. He is also one of the most recognized for his research, books, articles and essays, and for his
roles as educator, mentor, chairperson and innovative thought leader. His fifty years of exceptional, meritorious service to the disaster risk management community are unequaled, as is his long service to
the Network, as a founding member, Director and President.
It is important to appreciate that many of Ron’s contributions to disaster management have been in voluntary capacities, such as Boards, Commissions, Advisory Committees and Conferences. In addition
to these activities, Ron has served the broader community with important organizations such as The Canadian Red Cross, The National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Safeguard Canada. Ron’s exceptional record of service to Canada, and to CRHNet, which he has tirelessly championed, is deserving of our recognition and celebration. I can think of no person more distinguished or laudable in his accomplishments and am pleased to offer respectfully this letter of support and my highest recommendation.” (Ernest MacGillivray)
T. Joseph Scanlon Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was established in 2016, and is the organization’s highest honour. It recognizes the lifetime contributions and exemplary work of colleagues in strengthening and advancing Canadian public safety. Each year, one recipient is selected to be recognized by their peers for their collective contributions to disaster risk management education, practice, and/or research.
Joseph T. Scanlon 2020 Award Winner– Paul Kovacs
“Paul was the Senior Vice President at the Insurance Bureau of Canada and was instrumental in establishing the not-for-profit Institute for Catastrophic Loss reduction at the University of Western in 1997 and has been its Executive Director ever since. This institute and his leadership has been extremely influential in increasing awareness, engaging insurance and reinsurance industry in framing strategies and policies to respond to growing pressures such as increased extreme weather and climate risk, in part as a consequence of climate change as well as having a prominent role in shaping disaster reduction policy for Canada and international structures including the World Meteorological Organization, the International Sustainable Development for Disaster Risk Reduction, and federal governments in Canada and even outside of Canada.
In this regard, Paul has served personally on many national and international advisory and working structures and has been very effective in bringing the insurance and reinsurance sector along with his journey. He is recognized for his tireless commitment to the cause of public safety and disaster risk reduction, as well as his influential leadership across training, communications and research.” (David Grimes)
The Larry Pearce Education Awards were created to reward post-secondary students undertaking studies in any discipline relating to Canadian disaster risk and/or emergency management. These awards encourage innovative disaster risk management work and intend to help to defray the post-secondary education costs for recipients. There are three awards granted annually in Larry’s name; the award winners for 2020 are Amabel D’Souza, Dan Seguin, and Tianna Putric.
Our first place winner ($1000) went to Amabel D’Souza. Amabel is a diploma student at NAIT in the Disaster and Emergency Management program. Outside of her exceptional academic performance, Amabel also has been successful in a number of volunteer initiatives, including her role at the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2019, where Indigenous stakeholders were engaged to share their concerns and experiences with climate change. She has led numerous workshops on fishing livelihoods and livelihood diversification. In addition she has acted as a government advocate for two communities in Thailand who have suffered negative impacts of flooding and relocation as a result of hydroelectric development in the area. Her research on this topic was published in 2020 in Sustainability and she continues to take leadership roles to support Indigenous peoples on issues that matter to them. Amabel volunteers as a court liaison with the Elizabeth Fry Society in Edmonton and was previously a volunteer researcher and conference facilitator for the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association. Amabel has plans on starting her PhD next year, with a focus on the utilization of Indigenous knowledge in disaster risk resilience. Congratulations Amabel!
Our second place winner ($750) went to Dan Seguin. Dan is a Masters student at Royal Roads University in the Disaster and Emergency Management program. In addition to his exceptional academic performance, Dan is also an experienced practitioner who is able to bring his expertise in solving complex problems through unique approaches and participative processes to the field of Disaster and Emergency Management through the blending of learning and behavioural theory. He has held both volunteer and paid positions in fire services, and also brings to the field extensive experience as a consultant in organizational design and strategy. Dan is recognized as a true leader in his program by his instructors and peers alike, noting that he never hesitates to show empathy, lend a helping hand, and live his values in all of his interactions through his expressions of genuine kindness and respect. Congratulations Dan!
Our third place winner ($500) went to Tianna Putric. Tianna is an undergraduate student in the York University Disaster and Emergency Management program. In addition to her studies, Tianna also volunteered as an Emergency Management Assistant for the University’s Department of Community Safety where she assisted in the updating of the institution’s HIRA, completed a research report on food insecurity in the region, and supported the Canadian Red Cross’ shelter assessment of the campus. She continues to research and write about the various risks faced by Ontario, Toronto and York University and demonstrate her commitment to the field through her academic and volunteer work. She has also been described as an effective communicator, a team player, hardworking, and caring person. Congratulations Tianna!